I Watched Scream VI After Not Watching A Scream Movie In 25 Years, And Wow, Was That An Experience

Ghostface with a shotgun in Scream 6 trailer
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The following contains SPOILERS for Scream VI.

I never intentionally stopped watching the Scream franchise. I enjoyed the first movie when it came out and even rewatched it in the last few years. However, the last time I actually watched a new Scream movie was when Scream 2 came out in 1997. I'm not sure why I stopped. Scream 3 came out the year I graduated from college, so I was probably busy with other things. And then the next didn't come out for over a decade, and by that point I'd just stopped caring.

I was planning to try and catch up before I sat down to watch Scream VI, but I have young kids and the freedom to watch a movie that they should not see is severely limited. So I ended up sitting down to watch the new Scream movie without having seen the last three of them. Needless to say, I had a wild night at the movies.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega during Scream VI's bodega sequence.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

I Was Honestly Surprised How Much Sense It All Made

I was fully expecting to walk into Scream VI with no idea what was going on for the duration of the film. There were certainly a lot of references to previous films that didn’t make sense to me, but honestly, it’s all window dressing. None of it is all that important.

All the necessary details, who these characters are and how they relate to each other, as well as what happened to them in Scream 5, are given as much explanation as they all actually need. I learned who Sam was, what her connection to the broader franchise was (which was a movie I had actually seen, a nice bonus) and how the rest of the important characters, who were largely going to die, fit in. Most of the characters were really only there to die anyway.

Ghostface in Scream VI

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Any Movie That Kills My Favorite Actress In The First 10 Minutes Is Already Off To Bad Start

I totally get that one of the Scream tropes has been killing off major actresses in the first few minutes. Starting with the original Scream offing Drew Barrymore, it’s just part of the deal. Having said that, I still have an issue with how Scream VI opens. I was super excited to see one of my favorite actresses in this movie, and then very sad when I realized she was going to die.

I guess all the other Scream movies have kept the trend going since Drew Barrymore? While I have seen Scream 2, I must admit I don’t really remember what happened in it beyond Ghostface murdering some people. Even if this is a thing every movie has done, they picked the wrong actress this time.

Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding in Scream VI.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

It’s Hard To Become Emotionally Attached To Characters Who Were (Probably) Developed More In The Last Movie

One of the nice things about sequels is that they can hit the ground running with their story because the characters have already been introduced. We know who they are and why we should care about them. If a sequel did the same thing over again, fans would get bored quickly.

The problem, of course, is that if you haven’t seen that other movie, then you got none of that. I became largely detached from Scream VI at an emotional level pretty quickly because I just had no reason to care about the characters, and the movie never gave me one. Perhaps if I had seen 2022’s Scream, I would have had a stronger connection to the characters and I would have cared when they died... unless they were paper-thin characters with no arcs in the last movie too? I have no idea.

Ghostface on a New York subway

(Image credit: Paramount)

Is The Ghostface Mask Structurally Reinforced?

The Ghostface mask in the first Scream movie is just an off-the-shelf spooky Halloween mask. We’re given to believe that there’s nothing special about it, which is part of why it’s difficult to track down the killer. Clearly, though, there’s something more going on now, as I have to believe that the Ghostface mask in this movie has lots of padding.

I have no idea if Ghostface being beaten in the face with blunt heavy objects is something that happens to all the previous killers, but it certainly happens in this movie. Ghostface gets smacked with cast iron pans, bricks and furniture. I'm pretty sure the mask you got at the Spirit Halloween store is not going to protect you from that. If it doesn't kill you, it's knocking your ass out.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday.

(Image credit: Netflix)

There Was A Girl Dressed As Wednesday Addams At The Halloween Party Attended By Jenna Ortega

I have nothing specific to say about this, I just felt like it was worth mentioning. 

Hayden Panettiere as Kirby in Scream VI

(Image credit: Paramount)

When You Don’t Watch The Previous Films, You Don’t Know What You’re Supposed To Know

Generally speaking, movies are supposed to be self-contained experiences, but when you’re talking about a sequel, I don’t think there’s really an issue with expecting your audience to have seen them. One of the nice things about that is that a movie can dispense with a lot of explanations if it believes the audience already has the important information.  

If you’re a member of the audience who doesn’t have that information, but knows you’re supposed to, you can usually piece together what you need to know, but sometimes you can’t. When Hayden Panettiere first appears in Scream VI, the camera and the score make a point to make it clear this is a character whose appearance is important. I know she was in a previous film, even though I never saw it. However, there's a similar moment in the opening sequence where I assumed a certain actor's reveal was supposed to be a reference to something previous, but apparently it wasn't. 

Courteney Cox with a gun in Scream VI

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

I Completely Missed The Obvious Reveal Because I Assumed It Was A Reference To A Previous Movie

Courteney Cox played the only character in Scream VI who I knew anything about because she was the only one that was in the first two movies. Everybody else was new to me, which meant I didn’t know which members of the Scream VI cast were actually in previous films and which ones were not.

The movie does make a point to differentiate between the new and previously established characters during its “rules for being the sequel of a movie reboot” sequence, but by then I had largely already missed an important piece of information that I had written off because I assumed it was something from a movie I had not seen. It basically reveals the killer when the movie drops information on you that you absolutely don’t need, except as a hint for revealing the killer. On the plus side, it meant that I didn’t spoil the ending for myself.

Ghostface in Scream VI

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Scream VI Is A Slasher, And That’s Really All You Need To Know

At the end of the day, Scream VI is a slasher movie, and that means there is a monstrous killer, a bunch of young people and the one is going to kill a lot of the others. As such, while there is a lot of history in the Scream franchise that the movie does reference, which probably makes the movie better for those that know it, there’s really nothing standing in the way of anybody who likes slasher movies enjoying Scream VI.

The details are less important than the bloody kills. I honestly doubt that learning the killer’s motive is all that satisfying to any but the most diehard fans. If the movie has bloody murder, and you want to watch bloody murder, then Scream VI is everything you need it to be. Does it actually matter who the victims are or why the killer is doing what they are doing? Not really. I didn't know anything about any of these people, and I had a bloody good time.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.